Of all human problems, ultimately, the greatest problem of all is our mortality. One day we will die. Add to this the ancient notion supported by modern physics that the Universe is headed toward an inevitable annihilation, and we find that humanity is subjected to and conditioned by a tremendous pessimism. Everything must come to an absolute end. Any will to permanence is an illusion. Vanity of vanities.

The more sensitive ones: the artists, the sensualists, the hedonists, call out Why? They all have a longing for permanence. “This is good and should not end,” is the optimistic attitude. And yet no-one, and nothing, can escape it.

From the dismay this causes come the religions who promise the eternity that reality denies us. The message of religion is essentially that the dictatorship of death can only be transcended through the faith in the idea of another reality – the authentic reality which is permanent.

But the faith does not change the material reality, in fact it needs its pessimistic inevitability to justify itself. However positive faith in the afterlife is, it ultimately creates a pessimism here on Earth. In fact, religious hope for the eternal in the transcendental creates a nihilistic attitude. It was a blind faith in the absolute afterlife, the Paradise of the monotheisms, that created nihilism, not the turning away from that faith.

Once the objective became to get to the Paradise, real reasons for living here on Earth were no longer important. The only thing that mattered was Absolution or Providence. The idea that humanity itself through a manipulation of the physics of reality, could prolong life expectations and control nature through understanding, were condemned as ideas that came from the Dark Side. A dark, magical side that eventually evolved into science, which offered enough illumination to return human faith to itself again.

Perhaps the most positive idea we can have at the moment is that there is no limit to what the magic of science could achieve. Perhaps eventually humanity could become immortal and even the dying Universe itself could be resuscitated by our most advanced science and technologies.

The authentic world is here, and we are tiny in it, although our minds enlarge us. But the positive idea can only be truly positive if it is seen as a possibility. The most likely future for humanity is the dystopian version and positive thinking and action have to be a contemplation of how to escape the Dystopia and arrive at the Utopia. Or to get away from the process of becoming Dystopia and more into the process of becoming Utopia.




Once we began using language we were obliged to form limits for everything. Calling something by name means to draw a circle around it, limiting it by its own definition. Definition has, therefore, a purpose to create limits.

Yet, while this is true, we also have a seemingly insatiable curiosity which, if allowed to operate, will always be struggling to see over the borders of the circles that we have drawn around things. This is more easily done if we first of all understand that the encircling of things by defining them is a process of creating horizons rather than boundaries or solid walls. The horizon, we know, is not an obstacle, but merely an ever expanding limitation. The reality in every thing is alike the flesh of an onion in its complexity and a horizon in its spatiality. When we peel off a layer there is another fine layer underneath; when we approach its limits they keep moving away from us. We can never go beyond it, we just discover how it forever opens itself before our own progress; how it never fails to unfold before us as we move towards the limits that we imagine are there but do not really exist. However, for this eternal unfolding of horizons to take place, we must, first of all, put ourselves in motion and go forward. We can never reach the end of a rainbow, but the landscape around us will change enormously if we try.


God politics or art

Politics is dying and God is making a comeback. Could it be that the religions will save capitalism? As the impossibility of the consumer society becomes clearer and clearer, doesn’t it make more sense to reach out toward a purposeful impossibility rather than a nihilistic one? Or perhaps there is a more positive, creative alternative to both politics and God. Could the saviour of humanity be something like Art?

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Humanity has been tormented by eternity ever since it was able to conceive it. The great and magnificent eternal fantasy versus our own petty ephemeral natures. Eternity is the fundamental reason for all religions and all art. We can believe that God is dead or never existed, and we can tell ourselves that Picasso is shit and Da Vinci overrated, but we cannot escape the eternal void that envelopes our own existence.

Religion and art, and hence technology, politics and the economy, all come from the same anxiety: they are ways of dealing with ephemerality. Nevertheless, each of them has a completely different way of operating, with completely different aims. Religion is constantly grasping after another reality – one which is eternal. Within the eternal paradise of the religious lies everything that is good, having filtered out the evil components of this reality. Art, on the other hand, is a yearning to create the eternal in this world. It is an anxious struggle to uncover and preserve: a building process; a concept of eternity as a becoming rather than an enveloping reality that we eventually move into when we die. Religions try to remain eternal themselves – although this has been proven to be impractical and so it has adopted a politic of becoming.

Politics has a circular moving dynamic, dependent on separation and ideological dialectics to keep itself alive and seemingly evolving. But the circular implies a process of devolution as well as evolution. The economy is a layering distraction, placing us firmly in the present with a yearning towards the void of the immediate future.

Our capitalist economy, however, is completely devoid of the eternal. In fact, it could be considered an anti-eternity, which is why some have associated it with the devil’s work. It uses money to flow through reality in a way that makes it seem the blood of reality. Its great force of exchange and communication works in a meshing, netting way over our lives, entrapping us all.

But despite this entrapment, we cannot escape the eternity that envelops everything. It haunts us with its enormity, with an idea of tremendous possibility and great purpose – that the reason and purpose that fades away in the ephemeral world has to exist out there in the infinite void. The great empty void – if only we could fill it. In the beyond is the purpose that the economic mesh lacks. But we are likewise trapped by the ephemerality of our own reality. The spiritual and religious are impossibilities that can only be embraced via faith. To make the eternal seem practical we need another force, another way of stepping over – the practical results of our intellectual and spiritual creativity that we call art.